Young Brampton talent hacking urban issues

May 11, 2018

​More than 130 entrepreneurs, students and experts in technology came together as Brampton and Chinguacousy Secondary School hosted a Hackathon at City Hall in March.

Up to $2,000 in prizes were up for grabs during the intense, 12-hour session, as teams worked on solutions to make Brampton a better place to live.

The Hackathon’s real-world, problem solving approach and community engagement is supporting Brampton’s response to the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge. Open to all Canadian municipalities, local or regional governments and Indigenous communities, the Smart Cities Challenge is a competition that encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

Brampton’s youth were up to the challenge.

First place went to Abhishek Patel, Kirtan Patel, Will Mero and Juned Munshi for a app-based solution to an urban issue. They hacked an app a resident could use to report issues impairing their enjoyment of the city, like graffiti or safety concerns. By submitting a image through the app instead of spending time on the phone with 3-1-1, it would be easier to track, it would simplify the process, and save public resources that could be re-allocated to supporting residents in other ways.
The solution, and many others developed through the Hackathon, crowdsourced data critical to quality of life, and offered a proactive approaches to build a smarter, happier, and more engaged community.

Parts of the facility were set up as a mini “tech town,” where students had access to Brampton’s GeoHub and related open data, five 3D printing stations, other MakerSpace resources, and a VR and Oculus experience though event sponsor Arup.

Hark Chahal, a Digital Solutions Manager at Brampton software design and development company, Iron Logic, attended the event and was impressed. “It was a great experience and extremely encouraging to see everything that’s happening with the city and its focus on building a tech community. If I wasn’t a believer before, I definitely am now.”